useing the approach described above you don't have different systems running different versions of things (unless you want them to). with the binary package server you have one box compile the code with the optimizations that you want, and then it makes the results available to all the other systems (assuming that they are identical)
I haven't done head-to-head performance comparisons with gentoo, but I have seen cases where optimizing the kernel could result in 20-30% performance improvements in the past (back in the 1GHz athlon days). on modern 64 bit hardware it's less of an issue becouse there's less variability between hardware, and therefor less difference betwen optimized versions and the generic versions.
where I actually see the benifit of gentoo where I use it (my home server) is in the ability to configure the packages with the options and dependancies that I want them to have (this means turning on some that other distros would leave off, but mostly turning off options that other distros turn on, but I don't care about)
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